by Graham Pierrepoint
You’ll be hard pushed to find anyone that doesn’t have at least some form of smart device or regular connection to the world around them in the form of a handheld device – after all, thanks to companies such as Apple, Samsung and Sony, smartphones and tablets have become must-have tech for the young and middle-aged alike. You can even wear some on your wrists and can ask them to do personal admin tasks for you – meaning that more and more of our lives are now being delegated through the power of miniature tech.
It turns out it’s a genuine phenomenon, therefore, for us to feel more than a little lost if we don’t have our phones or tablets on our person – how many times have you panicked when you’ve been unable to find your iPhone or Android device in your pockets or in your bag? What’s more, today’s youth find themselves more and more bored or listless if they don’t have regular access to their favorite devices – and when you think about it, this is very much understandable! So much of our connection to the outside world and to our loved ones remains dependent upon these devices – meaning that it’s becoming an increasingly prominent issue for many people who have their notifications coming through on a regular basis.
Some scholars have taken to study the attachment to mobile devices in recent weeks – it’s part of a phenomenon known as ‘nomophobia’, according to The Independent – which centers around stress or anxiety that occurs in people who are unable to access their mobile phone at any given time. While it may seem like a faintly ridiculous premise, consider your own mobile device – could you be without it for more than a few days without missing a few icons to press?
Scientists based in Hong Kong and Seoul have theorized that smartphones and tablets have largely become digital extensions of our own personalities – given that we store so much of our lives on these devices, and that we rely upon them to guide us through our daily lives. How good were we at finding things before Google Maps? Can you remember collecting music before Spotify – and how infuriating it was having to wait for your photos to be developed? Nomophobia has come around as a result of convenience evolving into necessity – an incredible and scary phenomenon.